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L.A. is one of the most diverse regions on the planet with tens of thousands of restaurants featuring all kinds of cuisines.  There are lots of great inexpensive restaurants, but being the home of Hollywood & Beverly Hills, there is no upper limit for either quality or price.  The problem is that so many choices make any choice difficult.

So, the family is in the car, you’re driving around a city you don’t know that well, and everybody is hungry NOW !  Where do you go?  This quick list of favorites is where “locals” go all the time and visitors enjoy.  They’re not “Four Star” dining, but they’ve been around for years, they’re proven favorites, they’re not expensive, and they started here in L.A.



The undisputed L.A. favorite! All they sell is burgers, fries, and drinks. All have drive-thrus for take-out, many newer locations have indoor seating. (Be sure to check out their classic Double-Double.)

Family-owned, everything’s fresh, nothing frozen. Try it and you’ll know why this has been such a Southland favorite since the 1940’s.
Click HERE for a MAP of the location MAP       Click HERE for this website In N’ Out Burger


Flame-broiled, marinated chicken, not fried. Great taste and it’s endorsed by heart and health organizations. Side dishes include salsa, tortillas, beans & rice, plus all-American favorites like corn on the cob, coleslaw, and fries.

Dine-in and take-out, several newer sites also have drive-thrus.
Click HERE for a MAP of the location MAP       Click HERE for this website El Pollo Loco


Owned and operated by Chris and John Fossleman, grandsons of the founder, this award-winning ice cream has been a local favorite for three generations and each batch is still made by hand. Restaurants all over southern California serve this ice cream.

Located in Alhambra (just south of Pasadena), this modest ice cream parlor is easy to miss, so check our map & link below:
Click HERE for a MAP of the location MAP       Click HERE for this website Fosselman’s Ice Cream



A casual, tropical surf-themed restaurant with great burgers, chicken, fries, and salads. A family-friendly restaurant that’s been a favorite of young and old alike for more than 20 years. Soft drinks and fruit smoothies for the kids, it also has a full bar for the adults.

So popular that they get crowded during peak hours, but worth the wait. (Be sure to check out their mocha-almond-fudge Kona Pie too.)
Click HERE for a MAP of the location MAP       Click HERE for this website Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks


A legendary Southern California favorite bakery-restaurant that has expanded into several states -- but not all.

They originally became famous for their fresh-baked pies, but now they’re just as famous for their cornbread, family meals, and salad bar. Their fresh pies are still available for take-out.
Click HERE for a MAP of the location MAP       Click HERE for this website Marie Callender’s


Usually overlooked, major grocery stores such as Albertsons, Pavilions, Ralphs, and Vons have delicatessens which they call “service delis.” They feature hot food, chicken (both fried and roasted), deli sandwiches, salad bars, and soups.

Selection varies from store to store, but these are ideal if you want to mix prepared food with fresh fruits, veggies, healthy alternatives, or other personal favorites. You can get exactly what you want for those “special eaters.” Have a picnic in a local park or take it back to your hotel/motel room for a relaxing meal.

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